Cooking for one can seem intimidating. You can’t walk into a store and buy one scallion or exactly one sprig of mint. Everything is packaged for multiple uses or cooking for a family of four. Turns out that larger quantities can be beneficial for solo cooking. By creating easy one pot dishes like our cassoulet you’ll have ready to eat leftovers that will save you time, money and stress during the week.
Not a fan of eating the same thing for lunch and dinner every day? Not to worry. We love making bigger meals and then freezing them in individual portions. That way we can spread the love and enjoy all our favourites over the month instead of wasting unwanted leftovers.
We suggest buying disposable aluminum containers from the grocery store. Aluminum containers come in a variety of sizes and go from freezer to oven without mess or hassle. Bonus: they cost next to nothing, which means that you won’t have to sacrifice your only casserole dish to the freezer for a month.
We love lamb’s subtly gamey and comforting flavour, but if it’s not your cup of tea, feel free to swap it for ground chicken, beef or even bison for a low-fat and high-protein option. It is next to impossible to go wrong with this delicious freezer-friendly favourite!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 – 8
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lb ground lamb
1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 – 14 oz tin white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 14 oz tin navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sultana raisins
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup low sodium beef stock
10 mint leaves, finely chopped
5 cups 1/2-inch cubes day old bread
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the lamb and sauté until just browned. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and thyme. Stir until vegetables are softened and almost translucent, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Stir in the kidney beans, navy beans, apricots, raisins and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/4 of the beef stock to deglaze. Pour in the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
4. Stir in mint leaves and pour the lamb cassoulet mixture into an casserole dish.
5. Toss the bread with 1 tablespoon olive oil, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until bread is crisp and golden.
7. Remove from the oven and let the cassoulet rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate,
a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence
in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice,
how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.